Melodifestivalen 2021 Deltävling #1

If I had to choose one song or performance from the first heat of this year’s Swedish path to Eurovision (Melodifestivalen) to go straight through, it would be that of Lena Philipsson.

She has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest six times: four times as a performer (1986, 1987, 1988 and 2004) and twice as a songwriter.

Lena was co-host for the first heat of this year’s Melodifestivalen, where she performed a couple of her own songs, including her current single, the title of which translates, roughly, “You learn throughout your life”.

The opening number video was a bit Karen Carpenter meets The Brady Bunch/Partridge Family.

Lena Phillipsson at Stockholm Pride 2008
Schlager Night at Stockholm Pride 2008 – Lena PH

Sadly, she won’t be representing Sweden at Eurovision this year. Based on current social media speculation, that honour will probably go to Danny Saucedo, or the twice-previous Eurovision entrant, Erica Saade (“Manboy” and “Popular”). We’ve yet to see Eric’s performance, but Danny did a pretty good job. I can’t help but feel it’s “Danny’s Turn”.

“Dandi Dansa” by Danny Saucedo owed a lot musically (and in the performance) to Justin Timberlake c. 2005.

In the first heat, I also really liked “Tänker inte alls gå hem” by Arvingarna. It was a very catchy old-style singalong song entered by the band which had previously won Melodifestivalen (and therefore represented Sweden at Eurovision) with “Eloise”.

As I watched “Tänker inte alls gå hem” by Arvingarna, I kept feeling a bit of “The Full Monty” vibe about it. A bunch of middle-aged blokes who, by the end of the song, would be naked on stage!

All of the songs in the first heat were pretty good, though I didn’t think there was anything that was a standout. The selection process for the contest, these days, seems to weed out the truly awful. But it’s also been a few years since there have been any instantly obvious Eurovision winners either. It’s almost a decade since Loreen won with “Euphoria” and a number of years, too, since Måns Zelmerlöw won with “Heroes”.

If you want to take a look at Heat 1, it’s available on the SVT website, along with an archive of previous Swedish finals for Eurovision.

A warning: they’ve inserted some low level “applause” during the early parts of the broadcast, despite the fact there was no audience.

In the lead up to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, it seems like most countries are choosing to simply re-enter “last year’s song”. Sweden, however, has chosen to select a new song. This is probably a good strategy. How many years will the pandemic go on for? How many times can you send through the same song?

With the cancellation of the contest last year, there was no “official winner”.

If they’d actually held the contest last year, the winner would probably have been Daði og Gagnamagnið from Iceland. They’re back again this year with their awfully catching pop song, in which the parents have a “conversation” with their new-born child. In case you haven’t seen it before, it’s worth watching. The clip is good fun, and when you realise the lyrical content, you’ll also see the sentiment of the song is very sweet.

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